Top Five World Cup contenders
When making a predictions list like this, it never hurts to throw in a dark horse, and Belgium certainly fit that bill. Judging by their performance at previous major tournaments, the Red Devils do not stand a chance of making an impact in Brazil next year. They have failed to qualify for the past two World Cups, only reached one of the last seven European Championships, and that was only by default because they were joint-hosts in 2000. But it would be downright daft to suggest the current Belgium squad is anything but the best the country has been blessed with. It is a genuinely star-studded line-up, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Marouane Fellaini, Vincent Kompany, Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku and Simon Mignolet.
The squad, which is on the cusp of qualifying, has both great strength and depth in all positions and is currently at its highest ever FIFA ranking of sixth. The only concern for Belgium fans is that this is a very young squad, with just two players over the age of 30 named for the recent qualifier against Scotland. Perhaps next year is one World Cup too soon, and conquest at Russia 2018 is a better bet.